UPDATE 1-Egypt replaces central bank governor Hisham Ramez
Hesham Ramez, Former CBE Governor - YOUM7/Sami Waheeb

CAIRO: Egypt’s central bank governor Hisham Ramez will not renew his term when it expires in November and will be replaced by senior banker Tarek Amer, the presidency said in a statement on Wednesday.

Ramez has faced increasing criticism in recent months as the Egyptian pound has come under pressure and reserves have tumbled — from $36 billion in 2011 to $16.3 billion in September, enough to cover just over three months of imports.

During his term Ramez has sought to tame a once-thriving currency black market by imposing a cap on dollar-denominated bank deposits, among other measures. That has drawn criticism from importers no longer able to foreign currency from the parallel market.

Under Ramez, the central bank had kept the pound steady at 7.5301 pounds to the dollar for the five months until July, when it allowed it to slide to 7.6301. It later let it slip by a further 0.10 pounds on July 5.

Early this month, Ramez introduced another round of devaluation, weakening the pound to 7.8301 on October 15, and followed that by another 0.10 pound devaluation on October 18.

Allowing the pound to weaken in a controlled way could boost exports and attract further investment, but it also raises Egypt’s already large bill for imported fuel and food staples.

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